Dictated Aug. 26, 1958 — But mailed later)
DEAR READERS: The group I fondly and egotistically hope to have as readers this week may include some curious, campers. Curious, I mean, In the sense of wanting to know. In my 32 years of camp director I have found all campers to be curious, as collectors’ items.
ENCLOSURE: You will find in this envelope an itemized bill for the incidental expenditures of all campers. Those are not extra charges but items for which you might have required payment on the spot. we did “set it down” as they used to say of charge accounts up in this country. There may be errrors. Please don’t hesitate to call them to our attention. The compilation has taken many hours of the time of at least three different people, not to mention a falliable adding machine.
LOST AND FOUND: These words all by themselves constitute a novel with a happy ending. Although councillors are exhorted early and often to round up all of the various properties of their clients, we always find many bushels of heterogeneous articles. I say bushels because we normally collect them in such baskets. Then the Directress sorts them according to their presumptive owners, wraps them in brown paper and carts them down to the Post office. So far, from one parent we have had back a huge box of the possessions of another camper, a plea for an address that a shirt may be returned, and the personal visit of one grandmother on the prowl for lost dungarees. It you’re still short some valued item, don’t hesitate to write us. In spite of your sincere avowal that the article is marked, with a detailed description to guide us, we may find it in the not inconsiderable pile of unmarked and unclaimed items. The health Department would advise us to omit some eight toothbrushes.
BARBECUE AND BANQUET: Although our enrollment was below capacity for the first time since peace was declared, we staged a comeback on the final night. The number was over 350, a record group of amiable visitors. The weather was kind to us. It was cold and windy, but the rain appeared just as the diners were departing and so served merely to speed the parting guest. In spite of the strong wind toward the land, the bonfire eventually fell into the lake. Bob Pickett, assisted by Councillors Brown, Carlton and Garver, gave out our numerous prizes. The inevitable interval between the food and darkness was bridged. anesthetically by the director in a hemlock stump. Refreshed by the nap, all hands then gave their attention to the awards, which ranged from ribbons to bronze trophies, climaxed by David McManus and his prize as 1958’s most active camper. Oh yes, and four beaming from our kitchen lined up before the embers to get your very generous gift.
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DEPARTURES: While as many as perhaps half the camp were whisked away by eager parents on Monday night, the remainder drained gradually away throughout Tuesday. At 5:15 a.m., Bob, Henry and the Director were up and about, rousing the eight campers who left by train. Anon, under the experienced guidance of Phil Schwartz, they climbed into Chevrolets owned and operated by the Director and his surgeon-son, Larry, former councillor and partner of Hyde Bay. This year, with the consent of parents, Phil merely put the southern delegates on the Pennsylvania train in New York. Either they arrived safely or their parents are reconciled to their loss. We have heard no complaints. This is the smallest number we ever sent by train and hence the largest percentage of parents ever to attend our final fire.
CHRONOLOGY: By the time Larry and I got back from Fort Plain, the camp was at breakfast. Then came a steady stream of parental cars. The group of boys and the pile of baggage melted rapidly. The last but one of all the campers had left us before noon. This again was a record. Meantime, before the horrified eyes of the erstwhile tenants, mattresses were carried cut, beds were folded and stored and down came the tents. A crew of experts under veteran Garver dismantled the tower. Others carried all the boats ashore and via the two—wheel trailer to their winter homes. The dock was ripped up, carted off and stored. By nightfall, the shore would have looked like home to a visiting Mohawk. Councillors were free to depart. By noon the next day, most had done so. A rearguard painfully eased the Packer into the boathouse. Our married men tarried a day or two, with the Garvers leaving Friday and the Carltons only yesterday morning. Just before 5 Monday afternoon, Bob, Betty, Rusty, Sandy and Cindy pulled out with two cars and an attendant trailer. There was a tinge of tragedy at the end. There had arrived, just ten minutes before, a barrel of twenty Maine lobsters, gift of an old councillor. Mouldy’s drooling backward glance as such as ruined Eurydice and turned Lot’s wife to salt.
MODERN TIMES: At present just the old folks are completely alone at the camp with only Ring to guard them. It was 50º this morning, with a brilliant rising sun dispersing the mist over the lake. The Directress sturdily waded out into the water, while her softer companion sought the solace of the ladies showers, de—sexed by the previously described departures.
COMPLAINTS AND SUGGESTIONS: Please don’t he reticent under either of those headings. We need your counsel and advice. We want to know any possible way to make the camp better. We know that all the happenings this year at camp did not come to our attention.
THE FUTURE: It seemed to us that an unusual number of parents warned us that their sons would be with us next summr. An abnormally large contingent of new parents appeared to inquire about chances for next year. Perhaps we are due for a welcome return to the prosperity of recent years after this slimish, but extremely pleasant summer. Your kind offices in this important matter will he much appreciated.
THE PICKETTS: are very grateful to you for one of their happiest camp seasons. Best wishes to every camper in his year at school, especially those whom we have endeavored to teach.
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